Broccoli Crunch Salad

This Broccoli Crunch Salad is made with toasted sunflower seeds, grapes, and a honey dijon dressing. Easy, healthy, and delicious, this vegetarian recipe is perfect for picnics or potlucks.

overhead photo of broccoli salad in a wooden salad bowl with a blue plate of salad to the side

It’s pretty clear that I kind of have a thing for salads. Whether it’s a protein-packed Spicy Mung Bean Salad, a leafy Vegetarian Caesar Salad, or a Massaged Kale Salad, I am a salad girl through and through. 

A solid broccoli salad recipe is one of those picnic or potluck mainstays that I think everyone should have on hand. This one is my go-to, and hopefully it will become yours as well.

If you look up “Broccoli Crunch Salad” you’ll find a variety of riffs with a few common elements. Always made with broccoli (duh), usually some fruit, something for crunch, often bacon, and often a creamy dressing. 

*This* Broccoli Crunch Salad is leaning a little more sophisticated (in my opinion) with a honey dijon dressing that uses not one, but two kinds of dijon mustard. It’s sweet, salty, tangy, crunchy, delicious, and, of course, nutritious, and will make a great addition to your salad repertoire all year long. 

broccoli, parsley, grapes, honey, dijon, and sunflower seeds on a grey background

Ingredients:

You’ll find a detailed recipe and printable grocery list at the bottom of this post. But let’s take a quick run-through of what you need:

  • Broccoli –> We’re using both the stems and the florets here. 
  • Parsley –> For that bright fresh flavour.
  • Grapes –> For a little somethin’ sweet.
  • Sunflower seeds –> Bringing the crunch.
  • Honey –> For the dressing.
  • Dijon –> We’re using both smooth AND grainy mustard.
  • Apple cider vinegar –> For some tang!
  • Olive oil –> As one does.
  • Salt and pepper –> You know it. 

steamed broccoli florets in a white tea towel, sliced grapes, chopped parsley, and broccoli stems on a grey background

Technique:

Again, there’s detailed instructions in the printable recipe card below, but I’ll walk you through it step by step here, with pictures!

Step 1: Chop the broccoli florets into small, bite-sized pieces. Put a couple of inches of water at the bottom of a large pot with steamer basket or mesh strainer inside.

Once the water is boiling, add the broccoli florets, cover, and steam for one minute. You just want to take the raw edge off. Drain, then rinse the broccoli under cold water to stop the cooking.

Use a clean kitchen towel to dry the broccoli florets.

Step 2: Peel the broccoli stems (I just use a sharp knife for this, but a vegetable peeler is fine too) and julienne, finely dice, or shred the stems.

Step 3: Toast the sunflower seeds in a dry pan over medium heat. Stir occasionally, and remove from the heat when they’re smelling nutty and delicious. 

Step 4: Roughly chop the parsley. 

photo collage with honey dijon dressing and broccoli salad in a metal bowl

Step 5: Combine the honey, mustards, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, salt, and pepper in the bottom of a large bowl. Use a whisk to emulsify the dressing. 

Step 6: Add the steamed-and-cooled broccoli florets, sliced broccoli stems, parsley, grapes, and toasted sunflower seeds to the bowl. 

Step 7: Toss with the dressing to ensure everything is well coated. 

Step 8: Transfer to a serving bowl if you wish. 

That’s it! You’re done!

overhead photo of broccoli salad with grapes, parsley, and sunflower seeds in a wooden bowl

Can this recipe be made in advance?

Although I do feel that this particular salad is best eaten the same day that it’s made, it will definitely last a few days in your fridge. 

You can certainly prepare all of the elements in advance, even pre-steaming the broccoli florets (maybe as part of your weekly batch cooking?), whisking together the dressing, and toasting the sunflower seeds. 

Then, all you need to do is toss it together when you’re ready to serve, and voila! 

Can this salad be made vegan?

It sure can! Just swap the honey in the dressing for maple syrup or another liquid sweetener, and poof! It’s vegan!

Is broccoli healthy?

Um, yes. Yes it is.

Broccoli is a great source of vitamin C, dietary fiber, and broccoli consumption is thought to be beneficial in the prevention of heart disease and some cancers.

Broccoli is rich in a host of anti-inflammatory phytonutrients, as well as antioxidant flavanoids and carotenoids. Like other cruciferous vegetables, broccoli is heart-healthy and also benefits our digestive health by both supporting and regulating our gut bacteria.

broccoli salad on a blue plate with a wooden bowl of broccoli salad in the background

 

Other recipes you might enjoy:

Greek Cucumber Salad
Green Pea Salad with Feta and Mint
Pan-Fried Broccoli with Sesame Egg Ribbons
Orecchiette with Broccoli and Lemon

Broccoli crunch salad on a blue plate with a bunch of red grapes to the side
Print Pin
5 from 3 votes

Broccoli Crunch Salad

This Broccoli Crunch Salad is made with toasted sunflower seeds, grapes, and a honey dijon dressing. Easy, healthy, and delicious, this vegetarian recipe is perfect for picnics or potlucks.
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Keyword Broccoli Salad
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 221kcal
Author Katie Trant

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Cut the stems from the broccoli and set aside. Chop the florets into bite-sized pieces.
  • Put a couple of inches of water at the bottom of a large pot with steamer basket or mesh strainer inside. Once the water is boiling, add the broccoli florets, cover, and steam for one minute. You just want to take the raw edge off. Drain, rinse in let cool and dry with a clean kitchen towel.
  • Place the sunflower seeds in a small skillet over medium heat, and toast, stirring frequently, until they are lightly brown and fragrant.
  • Use a sharp knife or vegetable peeler to peel the tough skin from the broccoli stems, then shred, julienne, or finely dice the stems.
  • In a large bowl whisk together the mustards, honey, olive oil, and vinegar.
  • Add the broccoli florets, stems, toasted sunflower seeds, slidced grapes, and parsley into the bowl with the dressing and toss well. Taste, and then season with salt and pepper.
  • Transfer the salad into a serving bowl, and serve!

Notes

  • Nutrition values are an estimate only.
  • This salad is best served the same day it is made, but will last up to 3 days in the fridge.
  • For a vegan salad, replace honey with maple syrup or another liquid sweetener

Nutrition

Calories: 221kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 156mg | Potassium: 781mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 1490IU | Vitamin C: 185mg | Calcium: 113mg | Iron: 2mg

This recipe was originally published April 12, 2013. It was retested, rephotographed, and republished on May 30, 2020.

Comments

  1. kellie@foodoglow says

    What a pain in the backside! Almost everything I normally eat would be nearly impossible to do on your exercise, except my simple breakfasts. And I completely agree that grams are much easier to deal with than cups. Cups are okay-ish for baking measures (although you have to be consistent with levelling off, tapping the cup, packing brown sugar – argh!). But cups of broccoli, cups of spinach? That’s just silly. I feel I can say that as an ex-pat American living in the UK! One year of pain by Americans to get used to metric and then they would not only be happier more accurate cooks, but also be in tune with the rest of the world, who look on Americans and their fierce, almost religious, adherence to cup measures as really quite odd. Rant over, the salad sounds delicious and a great way to easily up vital veggies and fruit without any fuss.

    • themuffinmyth says

      A pain in the backside indeed it was. But I’m thankful for your carrot/date porridge recipe, as it was easier to weigh than a bran muffin so I subbed it in for my usual breakfast.

      Love the rant! It’s true, grams are so much easier (don’t even get me started on ‘sticks’ of butter). In Sweden they use measuring cups but measure in dl rather than cups or ml, so I’m constantly doing conversions in my head.

  2. bluegreen143 says

    Funny, I just wrote about getting more fruit and veg into your diet! Your salad seems like just the trick I have to say. Broccoli is one of my favourite vegetables – in fact I love all the ingredients!

    • themuffinmyth says

      Great minds think alike! I’ll check out your post right away. Broccoli is definitely my favourite vegetable, and the crunchy sweet apple and almonds are an awesome combo with the spicy dressing. I hope you try it!

  3. Eileen says

    I think my head would explode were I to have to weigh every single thing I eat. That sounds like way too much work! 🙂 But this salad certainly sounds delicious. I love the idea of combining fresh broccoli with spicy mustard.

    • themuffinmyth says

      It was a pretty crazy three days, and really limited / changed what I could eat due to the weighing. The broccoli and the spicy dressing really do go well together, especially with the apples and nuts. Yum!

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